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Final Days

May 14, 2008 - Ron Flaviano
If I was feeling nostalgic with my last blog, fondly recalling shopping at Hills Department Store, with this entry, I feel a bit sad. Like I said before, my connection with retail stores goes back to my early childhood. Each time a store closes, or a chain goes out of business I feel a little somber. But sometimes a store holds particular happy memories.

One such store is a Marcs location in University Heights in Cleveland, Ohio. Since I live in Downtown Warren, Ohio (and make the fun-filled hour-long trek to Downtown Lisbon five times a week) when I go shopping, I often frequent Cleveland. Over the years, as I grew to love the Marcs chain, I visited every one that I ran across.

There is a Marcs location on Cedar Road in Cleveland that was quite a bit different from the others. It has a definite inner-city feel, and has two entrances one at the front, and one at the back of its plaza. The closeouts there always seemed to be different as well. In any event, I have shopped at this location for years.

But why is is special?

Because of an interesting afternoon shopping with my Mom and Dad.

A few years ago, my Dad was having a cornea operation at the Eye Clinic in Cleveland. Since my Mom doesn't like driving in big cities, I was elected to pick up my parents and take them to the appointment. I took one of my vacation days from MoJo, and we made the early morning trip to the Eye Clinic.

For one reason or another, the doctors elected not to operate on my Dad's eye. Since we were in the vicinity, and my parents both liked shopping for closeouts, I asked them if they wanted to visit the Marcs on Cedar Road. Well, my Dad, who usually didn't care much for shopping in other cities, said "Sure!" So we stopped at Marcs, and both my Mom and Dad found some really cool bargains...and were quite impressed with this very unique Marcs.

It was one of the few times in my adult life that I went shopping with my parents. And it didn't stop there... After the Marcs run, we stopped at Legacy Village, had dinner and checked out what was new at the Apple Store. It was a very enjoyable afternoon with my parents.

How does any of this matter? Well I was in Cleveland over the past weekend, and was making my run through the Cedar Road area. I noticed that several of the stores in the Marcs Plaza had closed...even the butcher shop that had been there forever. I was more shocked to see the Chipotle restaurant had been vacated. Something was up. But Marcs was open. As I got out of the car to go in, I noticed a huge sign on the door saying that there final day was Sunday. I was dismayed. I snapped a few photos on the outside, and snuck one inside.

Apparently the entire plaza is being torn down to make room for a new apartment complex. It's not a surprise, as the area has gotten a big facelift with the addition of a giant Whole Foods Market and a brand new shopping center across the street.

But why would this make me sad? The visit to this Marcs location with my parents would be the last time I would go shopping with my Dad. My Dad passed away unexpectedly in September 2006.

Seeing the the store closing forever seemed as if part of my memories were being erased.

I took the pictures to help me remember the look of the store, and the feel of the plaza...and to remember a very pleasant day shopping with my Mom and Dad.


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My Dad spending a Saturday afternoon working on one of his cars.


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